The San Francisco 49ers were able to execute a move that they absolutely had to do when they agreed to the two year deal with Anquan Boldin. This move will be a huge benefit to the 49ers on a few levels. There are still a few solid seasons left in the 33 year old’s career. “Physically, I feel fine,” he said. “I feel as if I can play five more years. So that’s not a problem for me. I feel great. But we’ll see how it goes.” Last year, his first with the 49ers was one of his more productive seasons in years.
The 49ers’ front office expressed their satisfaction with this deal when Trent Baalke said; “We are pleased that Anquan has chosen to continue his career as a 49er,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “He is a consummate professional whose love and respect for the game provide a tremendous example for all players. Anquan has been a very productive player throughout his career and we look forward to his future contributions to our team and community.”
The 49ers were able to trade for Anquan Boldin right around this time last year. The original plan was to have him be a complimentary receiver to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree was coming off of the first 1,000 yard receiving season by a 49er receiver since the days of Terrell Owens. The deal became even more significant when Crabtree suffered his achilles injury.
Boldin stepped right in as the leading as he had 85 receptions for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns last season. This was his sixth-career 1,000-yard season, and his first since 2009 when he was with the Arizona Cardinals. Boldin had 16 receptions for 227 yards and one touchdown. His fiery style of play was especially evident in the Divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers. This was a game were physical play and tough talk was very much a theme. Boldin set the tone for the 49ers as he led the 49ers with eight catches for 136 yards.
He has already made a good connection the fans because of his hard nosed style. He went to twitter to reveal the news today. “49er fans, I wanted to be the first to tell you that I’m returning to San Francisco, looking forward to joining my teammates, coaching staff and fans to bring back another championship to the Bay Area. Let’s go after our Quest For Six.”
There have been some grumblings about some veteran 49er players and Jim Harbaugh not being on the same page. Although he doesn’t really pay much attention to off season news because as he said; “At this time of the year, people grab whatever.” Howeverr, Boldin was quick to put that to rest. “When I did hear about it, I kind of laughed,” Boldin said. “I don’t think anybody in our locker room has an issue with coach Harbaugh. The way our locker room is built, we have an open-door policy. If anybody has a concern or wants to voice their opinion, they’re more than welcome to. There have been times when we have voiced our concerns as players, and coach Harbaugh has listened to us and taken into consideration how we felt as players. So I don’t think there’s any rift between players and coaches, particularly coach Harbaugh. He’s a guy I had a real good relationship with,” Boldin said about Harbaugh on a conference call. “Me and him were able to talk about anything. And I just like his demeanor, the way he approaches the game. He’s a guy that wants to win. I’m the exact same way. So I think we mesh pretty good.”
Bringing Boldin back will be a major boost to the 49ers locker room. He is a leader and his strictly business like approach is an excellent example for his teammates. Quinton Patton was able to really benefit from having Boldin as a teammate. Crabtree himself has mentioned how he is glad to have the opportunity to play with Boldin as well.
Whatever young receiver the 49ers end up selecting in the draft will also benefit from having a strong guiding presence like Boldin in the locker room. That will especially be the case if they decide to take Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Boldin and Benjamin are both from Florida and both excelled at Florida State. There have been some questions regarding the work ethic and motivation of Benjamin. This will surely be something that will improve while under the mentorship of one Anquan Boldin.
The impact will also be felt by Colin Kaepernick. Boldin became a very reliable option for Kaepernick and will be a key part of the development of the young quarterback. Boldin is the kind of receiver that is open even when he is covered. He will always fight for the ball because when it is in the air, he feels that the ball is his and only his. Kaepernick can also trust that Boldin will be able to settle down in zones and be a target for him. Bringing Boldin back was a big time move and is very good news in the midst of some less than promising reports recently.